Global climate change is, undeniably, one of the most prominent talking points in the media at present. The global average surface temperature has risen between 0.6 degrees and 0.9 degrees Celsius in the past 100 years and here in the UK, the transport sector is existing as the largest overall contributor to this rise. Despite innovation taking place in recent decades in regard to fuel efficiency, which has in part deflected the overall damage, the cumulative amount of miles driven by the nation has rapidly increased in the past 30 years, to a point where more than 118 million tonnes of carbon emissions were produced in 2017 alone. The government, under the advice from the Committee on Climate Change, introduced 2050 Net Zero emissions, their most drastic legislation to date in regard to the environment. Net Zero places a date on when the UK will no longer be in an annual surplus of carbon emissions in a bid to tackle climate change, including measures taken in regard to transport.
That said, it isn’t just climate change which is affected by vehicle emissions. Air pollution also affects public health, with 92% of the global population living in places where air quality levels exceed World Health Organisation (WHO) limits. Emissions from transport are having a huge impact on our day-to-lives and our carbon footprint alike, so it’s imperative that we understand the new developments and fuel alternatives that are helping create a greener and healthier future for the way we drive.
In this article, with Flogas who offer competitive LPG prices, we take a look at the changes that are facing fuel and its relationship with the automotive industry.
Road to Zero legislation
As of late, major developments within the automotive industry has meant the way in which we fuel our vehicles is set to face a change. This is mainly due to the government’s Road to Zero Strategy, which aims to end the sale of all new conventional petrol and diesel cars by 2040. The Strategy also plans to increase the supply and sustainability of low carbon fuels, as a way to reduce emissions from the existing vehicles already on our roads.
That said, legislation isn’t just at a national level either, with cities across the UK doing their bit to battle the effects of vehicle emissions. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, introduced the capital’s ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) on 08 April 2019, which stipulates that vehicles driving within the zone must meet new, tighter emissions standards or pay a daily charge. The aim is to improve air quality and lower emissions from conventional petrol and diesel-run vehicles in central London, with emissions set to fall by as much as 45% by 2020. Despite the fact the likes of ULEZ is clearly producing positives in regard to stepping away from ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles, what do the alternative fuel sources offer in terms of power and reliability?
The history of electric vehicles is by no means short, they have been around for an incredibly long time. However, it was thought of as more of an ideal to aspire to rather than a serious catalyst in the fight against climate change. This has all changed in the last decade, with the development of advanced electric vehicle technology that has given electric cars mainstream credibility and appeal.
Analysts have proposed that generation z individuals exist as the reason behind the immense growth in popularity in regard to electric vehicles. Research suggests that people aged 18-24 are the most likely to own an electric vehicle, with the main reason being the climate crisis. Although the stigma regarding the vehicles has dissolved, and the cars themselves have become equally as capable as the diesel or petrol alternative, the infrastructure to support this upsurge in interest is yet to match the technology available. With a chronic shortage of public charging points, one of the biggest impediments to many buying an electric car is the fear of running out of power and the risk of not being able to recharge on the go.
A clever alternative: LPG
While electric continues to develop, there exists another fuel source which can successfully act as a bridge. Autogas, also known as LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), is the most accessible alternative fuel on the market – with over 170,000 Autogas vehicles currently on the road across the UK, serviced by more than 1,400 refueling stations.
Not only does LPG help drive down your carbon footprint, it also saves you money at the pumps as well. Extensive existing infrastructure, plentiful supply and serious cost- and carbon-cutting potential mean LPG is positioned as the ideal interim fuel in the move away from petrol and diesel, and towards Net Zero.
LNG for transport
Of course, LPG is a safe bet as opposed to more carbon heavy fossil fuels however, LNG is also worth your consideration. As the cleanest burning fossil fuel available, LNG (liquefied natural gas) has quickly become the world’s fastest growing gas supply source. As well as being highly efficient, it emits significantly fewer pollutants and offers CO2 savings of 20% compared to diesel, making it ideal for businesses who own large truck fleets and need to adhere to stringent air pollution controls. Bio-LNG takes this one step further, offering CO2 savings of over 80%. known as liquefied biomethane, Bio-LNG is a renewable fuel that’s created during the break down of organic matter, meaning it can be produced anywhere anaerobic digestion occurs (AD).